DAN WOOTTON: Kate Middleton may have forgiven Harry, but will William ever forgive Meghan Markle?

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Courtiers breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Duchess of Cambridge appeared to publicly forgive Kate after Prince Philip’s funeral.

But there’s a much harder-to-solve question that still plagues royal advisers: How can I ever bridge the gap between Prince William and Meghan?

I understand the level of bitterness and resentment between the Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, I understand, if anything.

Wills was angry about his sister-in-law’s behavior for over a year.

And that was before she sat down with Oprah Winfrey to attack his beloved wife and then accuse his flesh and blood of racism and indifference towards someone with mental health issues.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will stand behind the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey on 9 March 2020

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will stand behind the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey on 9 March 2020

While William is well aware of his responsibilities as the future king to try to keep the family together, those close to him believe he will struggle to ever forgive Meghan for the damage she has done.

A senior royal insider tells me, ‘Much thought has gone into the issues between Kate and Meghan, and William and Harry – but perhaps the biggest types now exist between William and Meghan.

First and foremost, William can’t stand the way Meghan treated his wife. He feels that Kate tried in the beginning, but it was never enough.

Kate tried to help Meghan understand the responsibilities of royal life, but her efforts were constantly misinterpreted.

But to call Kate that publicly during the Oprah interview, because the person who made her cry was astonishing. Meghan would have been well aware that Kate has no power to fight back.

Despite her growing confidence in public, Kate is a very sensitive woman who likes to stay behind the scenes as much as possible to support her family and the country. William thinks the way she has been treated is unfair. ‘

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William leave Prince Philip's funeral at St George's Chapel together on April 17

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William leave Prince Philip’s funeral at St George’s Chapel together on April 17

The truth is, William had doubts about the speed of Harry’s relationship from the start.

He infamously tried to encourage his brother to slow the pace of their courtship, exacerbating tensions between them.

After Meghan officially entered the family, William began to question some of her motives.

Another senior royal source explains: ‘William soon began to wonder what Meghan’s traits and motivations were.

He was concerned that at times she seemed more concerned about her personal progress or profile about the broader goals and objectives of the royal family.

But he kept his reservations largely to himself, desperately wanting her to be happy and appreciated the tremendous adjustment of joining the Royal Family.

‘But everything changed after Megxit. He could no longer hide his true feelings because he felt she had publicly tried not to respect his family and the queen. ‘

Prince Harry and Prince William walk out of St. George's Chapel together on April 17 with Kate Middleton next to them

Prince Harry and Prince William walk out of St. George’s Chapel together on April 17 with Kate Middleton next to them

I was informed that the senior staff working for the Queen had shared with William their reservations about some of Meghan’s behavior.

William is said to have backed a decision – approved by the queen – to ban Meghan from borrowing items from the royal collection, including tiaras and jewelry once worn by his mother Princess Diana.

Kate is also reported to have shared with William details of an awkward meeting with Meghan, which I first revealed in December 2018, where she warned her sister-in-law not to speak rudely to the Kensington Palace staff.

Kate said to Meghan, “That’s unacceptable, they’re my employees and I’m talking to them.”

A source added, “She and Kate got out when she cheated on Kate’s staff.”

I also first reported in November 2018 that the Queen had warned Harry about Meghan’s behavior and attitudes before their marriage following an argument now known as Tiaragate.

So it’s fair to say that in the early days of Meghan’s time with the royal family, it wasn’t William who expressed his displeasure.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell tell-all interview that first aired March 7

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell tell-all interview that first aired March 7

But his anger and disappointment are largely due to the Sussexes’ disloyal behavior following their decision to leave the royal family, especially through the Oprah interview.

Some courtiers hope that William and Harry will now be forced into positive dialogue as they prepare for what would have been their late mother’s 60th birthday on July 1, where they will publicly unveil a statue of Diana.

But it’s unclear whether Meghan, who is heavily pregnant with the couple’s second child, will be involved in those discussions and whether she will consider making her first trip back to London since Megxit.

There are genuine concerns she could be booed at an event attended by members of the public given her current unpopularity in the UK as a result of the Oprah interview.

All these considerations are expected to add stress to the talks and negotiations.

The Queen Mother has never forgiven Wallis Simpson for her role in the abdication crisis.

Some royal watchers are now wondering if the relationship between Prince William and Meghan – also an American divorcee – could go in the same direction.

Kensington Palace declined to comment.

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